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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Reg Livermore, Pitt Street, Sydney

1965 (printed 2020)
Robert McFarlane

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 60 cm x 60.3 cm)

Reg Livermore AO (b. 1938) began his career at Sydney's Phillip Street Theatre in 1957, followed by stints at the Ensemble Theatre in Kirribilli and the Union Theatre Repertory Company in Melbourne. In the 1960s he hosted the Saturday night television show I'm Alright Now and appeared regularly on The Mavis Bramston Show. His big break came when he donned a pair of high heels for the role of Frank'n'Furter in The Rocky Horror Show in 1974. The following year, his own Betty Blokk Buster Follies played to record crowds around the country. In the late 1980s, he resurfaced on television in Burke's Backyard and Our House. He went on to star in musicals including The Producers, My Fair Lady and Wicked. In 2018, he had a sell-out season of his final one-man show, The Widow Unplugged at the Ensemble Theatre.

Robert McFarlane has photographed key figures in politics and the performing arts. His portrait of Livermore at the beginning of his career shows him as an urbane young man, and – in the manner of McFarlane's famous 1964 photo of Aboriginal activist Charles Perkins – is very evocative of its place and time. In 1965 Livermore was performing in A Cup of Tea, A Bex and a Good Lie Down with Ruth Cracknell at Phillip Street Theatre.

Purchased 2020
© Robert McFarlane/Copyright Agency, 2021

Artist and subject

Robert McFarlane (age 23 in 1965)

Reg Livermore AO (age 27 in 1965)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency